"Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated.
Since late 2006, local versions of Comedy Central have launched in the European market including in Poland (Comedy Central Polska), Germany (Comedy Central Deutschland), the Netherlands, Italy (Comedy Central Italia), Hungary, Sweden (Comedy Central Sweden) and in the UK and Republic of Ireland (Comedy Central (UK)). On April 1, 2009, New Zealand received the first localized Comedy Central channel outside of North America and Europe (Comedy Central New Zealand). The channel started broadcasting in Israel (Comedy Central Israel) in 2011.
On November 15, 1989, Time Warner, owners of HBO, launched The Comedy Channel as the first cable channel devoted exclusively to comedy-based programming. On April 1, 1990, Viacom (who owned MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon) launched a rival channel called Ha! that featured reruns of situation comedies and some original sketch comedy.
Comedy Central's programs were originated from the HBO Downtown Studios at 120 East 23rd Street in Manhattan. The format prior to the merger with Ha! included several original and unconventional programs such as Onion World with Rich Hall and Mystery Science Theater 3000, as well as laid-back variety/talk shows hosted by stand-up comedians, including The Sweet Life with Rachel Sweet, Night After Night with Allan Havey, Sports Monster and The Higgins Boys and Gruber, the latter of whom performed sketches in between showings of vintage television serials like Supercar, Clutch Cargo, and Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp."
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